Divers turn riders in battlefield tribute tour

Eighteen sailors. Eight days. Seven hallowed sites. Six hundred miles.

That’s the challenge set by Portsmouth-based Fleet Diving Unit 2 over one week in August.

The team from Horsea Island – a mixture of 18 divers and mine warfare specialists, all experts in finding explosive ordnance in very shallow waters – are hitting the roads of France to pay homage to Britain’s WW1 and WW2 fallen, and raise money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

The riders will lay wreaths at specific memorials and sites as they pedal around the region

The 600-mile ride starts at Dunkirk, scene of the 1940 evacuation, passes through the Somme battlefields of 1916 and 1918, then heads down into Normandy with the emphasis on remembering the men and women of D-Day, 75 years on since the landings.

The riders will lay wreaths at specific memorials and sites as they pedal around the region, from Pegasus Bridge and the remains of the Mulberry Harbour to the new UK memorial and the five invasion beaches.

They’ll also stop at La Cambe Cemetery, last resting place for more than 21,000 German defenders of Normandy.

The cyclists set off on August 14 and intend to complete their epic tribute on August 21.

You can show your support for the team via: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FDU2